Barbara Nearing Mexico at Hurricane Strength; Midwest Tornado Outbreak Today

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:02 PM GMT on May 29, 2013

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Hurricane warnings are flying for the Pacific coast of Mexico, where Tropical Storm Barbara is rapidly intensifying as it makes landfall. Barbara should be ashore by 2 pm EDT (11 am PDT), and is expected to intensify to a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds before landfall. Barbara formed on Tuesday night (May 28), an unusually early date for the formation of the Eastern Pacific's second storm of the year. The record earliest second storm of the year occurred just last year, on May 21 (Tropical Storm Bud.) The previous record was set in 1984, when the second named storm (Boris) formed on May 29. Reliable records of Eastern Pacific hurricanes go back to 1949. Barbara wasted no time getting organized, and is gathering strength in impressive fashion as it nears landfall in Mexico's Bay of Tehuantepec area. The storm's main threat is very heavy rains of up to a foot, which will be capable of causing dangerous flash floods and mudslides over the next 2 - 3 days. However, wind damage and the expected 3 - 5 foot storm surge are also a concern, since the area of the coast it is hitting, though not heavily populated, has very little hurricane experience. According to NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks website, only one Eastern Pacific hurricane has ever hit the Bay of Tehuantepec--Category 1 Hurricane Rick of 1997. Radar out of Puerto Angel, Mexico shows that Barbara has built a partial eyewall, and the storm has already spread heavy rains ashore along portions of the Mexican coast. Satellite loops show that Barbara is a relatively small storm, with a modest area of heavy thunderstorms.


Figure 1. Radar image of Barbara from Puerto Angel, Mexico, taken at 9:30 am EDT (6:30 am PDT) May 29, 2013. Image credit: CONAGUA.

May tropical storm landfalls are rare in the Eastern Pacific
Only eight named storms that formed in May have hit land in the Eastern Pacific since accurate hurricane records began in 1949--an average of one storm every eight years, according to NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks website. Just one of these May storms made landfall as a hurricane--Category 1 Hurricane Agatha of 1971, which hit Mexico west of Acapulco. But one of the deadliest and most destructive Eastern Pacific tropical cyclones of all-time was a May storm that never reached hurricane strength--Tropical Storm Agatha of May 29, 2010, which had top winds of only 45 mph at landfall. Agatha dissipated just one day after making landfall, but its remnants lingered over Central America for six days, dumping torrential rains that triggered deadly flash floods and landslides; Mazatenango, Guatemala, reported 22.27 inches of rain from May 25 - 30, 2010. At least 190 people died, mostly in Guatemala, making Agatha the 7th deadliest Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone in history. Agatha's $1.2 billion in damage made it the 6th most expensive Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone on record. Fortunately, Barbara is hitting a region of the coast that is relatively sparsely populated compared to where Agatha hit, and Barbara is not likely to cause anywhere close to the devastation that Agatha wrought.


Figure 2. Journey to the center of the Earth: a massive sinkhole 66 feet (20 m) across and 100 ft (30 m) deep opened up on May 29, 2010 in Guatemala City after heavy rains from Tropical Storm Agatha. The sinkhole collapsed suddenly, taking a three-story house that was used as factory, claiming fifteen lives. The sinkhole formed because Guatemala City is built upon volcanic pumice deposits, which are unconsolidated and of low density, allowing easy erosion. According to Sam Bonis, a geologist at Dartmouth College, because of lax city zoning regulations and building codes, leaking pipes went unfixed long enough to create the conditions necessary for this hole to form (it technically wasn't a sinkhole, since sinkholes form in limestone rock.) How do you patch something like this?

Tropical cyclone development unlikely in the Atlantic during the coming seven days
Barbara is expected to push northwards and cross into the Gulf of Mexico by Friday, but the storm is small enough and moving slowly enough that Barbara will likely dissipate before reaching the Gulf. If the storm were able to maintain at least tropical depression status and cross into the Gulf, it would keep the name Barbara. If Barbara were to dissipate before reaching the Gulf, then regenerate into a tropical storm in the Gulf, it would be named Andrea. However, conditions do not favor redevelopment of Barbara's remnants into an Atlantic tropical depression, since wind shear is expected to be quite high over the Gulf late this week. None of the reliable computer models is calling for tropical cyclone development in the Atlantic during the next seven days.

AP will be doing a hurricane twitter chat on Thursday at 1 p.m. EDT: #APStormChat

The National Hurricane Center is doing a hurricane chat on Thursday at 2 pm EDT: #HurriChat


Figure 3. Large tornado on the ground near Corning, Kansas, at 4:32 CDT May 28, 2013. Image credit: Ron Heinen, via twitter.


Figure 4. Radar reflectivity image of the tornado that hit Corning, Kansas at 4:32 pm CDT May 28, 2013.


Figure 5. Severe weather outlook for Wednesday, May 29, calls for a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather over much of Oklahoma and Kansas, plus portions of the Texas Panhandle. You can follow today's severe weather outbreak from our Severe Weather page.

Multi-day severe weather outbreak in the Midwest continues today
It was an active day for tornadoes in the Midwest on Tuesday, with NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) logging eighteen preliminary tornado reports, with twisters touching down in Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. No injuries were reported from these tornadoes, but damage was reported near Corning, Kansas, and Fenton, Michigan. The latest forecasts from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center call for a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather today (Wednesday), with the possibility of a significant tornado outbreak over much of Oklahoma and Kansas, plus portions of the Texas Panhandle.

Wunderblogger Lee Grenci has a post, The Moore Tornado, describing how the rapid intensification of the May 20, 2013 Moore, Oklahoma tornado occurred.

Jeff Masters

Overhead Clouds at Sunset (Nikongranny)
Overhead Clouds at Sunset

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Thanks, Dr Jeff.
Well if any TC was near a perfect position to cross over intact, Barbara has a shot if it can move relatively quick enough into the lower BOC by tomorrow... It's small size means could wind down easily and probably moving a little right of the ideal lowest elevation, thru Chivela Pass, but only a short chunk of the Sierra Madre mts to cross for potential minimal disruption of the LLC... The 12Z GFS I briefly viewed does model the mid level core coming thru intact, so it's a curiosity to watch, and if anything I think favors remaining Barbara into the BOC... Of course, a big "if" is if NHC can discern a sfc circulation to track continuously. Beyond that, as mentioned, whatever remains of the TC will most probably become quickly shredded by shear on Friday.

G'day!
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...BARBARA BECOMES A HURRICANE AS IT NEARS THE COAST OF MEXICO...
11:00 AM PDT Wed May 29
Location: 15.8°N 94.3°W
Moving: NNE at 10 mph
Min pressure: 990 mb
Max sustained: 75 mph
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23012
Good afternoon everybody!

Probabilities for WW 239:

TORNADO WATCH PROBABILITIES FOR WT 0239
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1221 PM CDT WED MAY 29 2013

WT 0239
PROBABILITY TABLE:
PROB OF 2 OR MORE TORNADOES : 70%
PROB OF 1 OR MORE STRONG /F2-F5/ TORNADOES : 50%
PROB OF 10 OR MORE SEVERE WIND EVENTS : 40%
PROB OF 1 OR MORE WIND EVENTS >= 65 KNOTS : 20%
PROB OF 10 OR MORE SEVERE HAIL EVENTS : 80%
PROB OF 1 OR MORE HAIL EVENTS >= 2 INCHES : 60%
PROB OF 6 OR MORE COMBINED SEVERE HAIL/WIND EVENTS : >95%

&&
ATTRIBUTE TABLE:
MAX HAIL /INCHES/ : 2.5
MAX WIND GUSTS SURFACE /KNOTS/ : 60
MAX TOPS /X 100 FEET/ : 550
MEAN STORM MOTION VECTOR /DEGREES AND KNOTS/ : 24025
PARTICULARLY DANGEROUS SITUATION : NO

&&
FOR A COMPLETE GEOGRAPHICAL DEPICTION OF THE WATCH AND
WATCH EXPIRATION INFORMATION SEE WOUS64 FOR WOU9.

$$
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Barabara is a hurricane by NHC.the first of the season.
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Quoting VR46L:


Yes but she is going over the lowest of the terrain ....

That's some pretty amazing imagery...

I'm starting to get a bit suspicious about Barb... like she has friends in TX or LA or someplace...
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Ryan Maue‏@RyanMaue1 min
12z SPC-4km WRF definitely has its convective scheme working, lighting up the simulated radar. 8pm EDT Link
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228. VR46L
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
looking on radar you can start to see the mountains in the eye


Yes but she is going over the lowest of the terrain ....

Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6613
Quoting yonzabam:
Killer Beavers Rampaging In Belarus

Only one person killed, so far, but it's kinda surreal.

Link


Hmm, seems like the headline is a little misleading. The man attacked the beaver first, in fact went out of his way to do so. Why don't people understand that the animal IS going to defend itself.

From the article:

"The fisherman, who has not been named at the request of his family, was driving with friends toward the Shestakovskoye lake, west of the capital, Minsk, when he spotted the beaver along the side of the road and stopped the car. As he tried to grab the animal to have his picture taken, it bit him several times. One of the bites cut a major artery in his leg, according to Sulim."

Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3731
what I find interesting is that I see two spins with Barbara one on radar and on on sat and they are not stacked radar shows eye near 16.4N 94.4W and sat shows spin near 15.8N 94.3W

something is wrong not stacked
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9560
I had to link the data on the lab report,for those that were interested.
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4203
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College of DuPage vis. image



Hope this lull lasts for a while.

Though it is still sprinkling outside, that's an improvement on heavy downpours...

I note there is a very strong cell to our south... coming up from the S side of Andros. I haven't had a chance to look at a loop to see what direction it's moving, or how fast, but it looks like things might get dicey over Andros, New Providence and Eleuthera later this evening...
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looking on radar you can start to see the mountains in the eye
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9560
Killer Beavers Rampaging In Belarus

Only one person killed, so far, but it's kinda surreal.

Link
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GGEM model is dousing eastern FL with 7" to 20" of rain over the next week or so.

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Good morning from the left coast
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Quoting KeysieLife:
Uh oh, someone better stock up on Fresca!



I always would like to visit the gulf coast, but not as a cane, lol.
Moreover I'm already dizzy with all the mentioning of my name on this blog.
Anyway, if Barbara will go into the GOM I'll have to catch up afterwards, because tomorrow I'll be out with my familiy to Schalkenmehren for some days (quite a long english wikipedia entry for this little but old village). Probably it will rain a lot, so that the hot ground below our feet (j/k) will be cooled some :-) Schalkenmehren is on top of the German supervolcano Eifel - quite dormant for a while, but not dead (still some bubbles in some crater lakes).
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Barbara


Rainbow Animated GIF

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Quoting Patrap:




Barbara is a hurricane imo.
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SEL9

URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
TORNADO WATCH NUMBER 239
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1225 PM CDT WED MAY 29 2013

THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF
WESTERN AND CENTRAL KANSAS
WESTERN OKLAHOMA INCLUDING THE CENTRAL AND EASTERN PANHANDLE
NORTHWEST TEXAS INCLUDING THE EASTERN PANHANDLE

* EFFECTIVE THIS WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 1225 PM
UNTIL 1000 PM CDT.

* PRIMARY THREATS INCLUDE...
SEVERAL INTENSE TORNADOES POSSIBLE
SEVERAL VERY LARGE HAIL EVENTS TO 2.5 INCHES IN DIAMETER LIKELY
SEVERAL DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH POSSIBLE

THE TORNADO WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 90 STATUTE
MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 60 MILES WEST NORTHWEST OF
RUSSELL KANSAS TO 45 MILES SOUTH SOUTHEAST OF CHILDRESS TEXAS.
FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH
OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU9).

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

REMEMBER...A TORNADO WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR
TORNADOES AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS.

&&

DISCUSSION...TSTM INITIATION IS UNDERWAY E OF THE DRYLINE IN
RESPONSE TO THE EWD MIGRATION OF A SHORT-WAVE TROUGH INTO THE SRN
PLAINS. THE PRESENCE OF VERY STEEP MIDLEVEL LAPSE RATES AND A MOIST
BOUNDARY LAYER IS ALREADY RESULTING IN MLCAPE VALUES OF 2000-3000
J/KG WITH A DECREASING CAP. DESPITE SOME VEER-BACK TENDENCIES IN
OBSERVED AND FORECAST WIND PROFILES...LOW-LEVEL SHEAR WILL
STRENGTHEN INTO THIS EVENING SUPPORTING A RISK FOR TORNADOES /SOME
POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANT/ IN ADDITION TO VERY LARGE HAIL WITH THE
MOST INTENSE SUPERCELLS THAT DEVELOP.

AVIATION...TORNADOES AND A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL
SURFACE AND ALOFT TO 2.5 INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE
WIND GUSTS TO 60 KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO
550. MEAN STORM MOTION VECTOR 24025.


...MEAD
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Quoting aquak9:


wumail it to me, I'll read it and try to reply later. But ya gotta tell me how old you are so I am not too critical.


16, almost 17. ALso, its on my new blog, so you dont have to check your mail.
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4203
12z CMC run











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Quoting Torito:
I did a lab experiment and wrote a lab paper, if anyone is interested in reading it...


wumail it to me, I'll read it and try to reply later. But ya gotta tell me how old you are so I am not too critical.
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Quoting Patrap:






Looks like a 75 to 85mph hurricane.
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I did a lab experiment and wrote a lab paper, if anyone is interested in reading it...
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4203
Very early initiation today I guess!



MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 0854
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1133 AM CDT WED MAY 29 2013

AREAS AFFECTED...ERN TX PANHANDLE...WRN OK

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH LIKELY

VALID 291633Z - 291900Z

PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...80 PERCENT

SUMMARY...TCU ARE DEVELOPING OVER THE CENTRAL TX PANHANDLE...AND MAY
EVENTUALLY ORGANIZE INTO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS. TRENDS ARE BEING
MONITORED FOR WW ISSUANCE EARLY THIS AFTERNOON.

DISCUSSION...VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS CU/TCU FIELD DEVELOPING
OVER THE CENTRAL TX PANHANDLE. THIS IS IN THE VICINITY OF A LEAD
SHORTWAVE TROUGH SHOWN ON WATER VAPOR IMAGERY NEAR AMA. LATEST
MESOANALYSIS DATA SUGGESTS THIS AREA HAS BECOME UNCAPPED WITH 3000
J/KG OF MLCAPE. CONSIDERABLE LOW/MID CLOUD COVER IS PRESENT TO THE
EAST OF THE CU FIELD...WHICH IS INCREASING UNCERTAINTY REGARDING
EASTWARD EXTENT OF THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT EARLY THIS AFTERNOON.
NEVERTHELESS...THE PRESENCE OF VERY STEEP MID LEVEL LAPSE
RATES...FAVORABLE VERTICAL SHEAR PROFILES...HIGH CAPE VALUES...AND
LARGE SCALE SUPPORT...SUGGEST THAT A WW WILL BE NEEDED IF CONVECTION
CONTINUES TO GROW/ORGANIZE.

..HART/MEAD.. 05/29/2013


ATTN...WFO...OUN...DDC...SJT...LUB...AMA...

LAT...LON 35050099 36410087 37339985 37379864 36769834 35369815
34059852 33339934 33600075 35050099
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Glad to see everyone is back in action for the new hurricane season :)
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WOW!!

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206. 7544
bahamas blob looking good today lots of rain down there is that going to head west too tia ?
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Uh oh, someone better stock up on Fresca!

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.
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The whole picture with little Barbara ... Hi, all abroad.
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Well, here is what I think.
First, Barbara is a low end cat 1 making landfall
Second, IF it's remnants cross into the BoC, it wont develop
Third, the CMC is out to lunch
Finally, We should see some action in the NW carib or GoM next week
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Quoting ScottLincoln:

Perhaps you could consider helping us out at the National Weather Service directly by joining the CoCoRaHS program? No data-logger required.

http://www.cocorahs.org/


Great Scott, man! Brilliant!
I shall check it out post haste.

(Where was this guy yesterday when I needed him? - probably saving someone's life or something...hrumph!)
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052




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Will see what happens..
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Quoting hydrus:
This is interesting.


We can only hope and pray that the Texas/OK panhandles get that much rain.

Edit: see post number 188 for figure.
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3731
Quoting scottsvb:


The beach doesn't need to be in the exact center of the LLC.. once the eyewall passes the beach..it's considered landfall. End of the basic discussion :)


So would that be at low, high, or MSL? :D
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3731
Quoting mikatnight:
G'Morning -

If anyone remembers me yesterday whining about looking for a place other than a spreadsheet to enter daily rainfall totals, you will be relieved to know that I finally found one. It's a website called Rainlog.org. It's an Arizona thing, but it turns out it doesn't seem to matter where you live - a google map with your latest rainfall total shows up, click on that for chart, etc. Someone outside the US should try this, see if it works. It's not the greatest graphics, but if you don't have a PWS and yet you do have a rain gauge, it's cool enough. It's also a smartphone app (Android anyway, not sure about others).

Here's a snapshot. Only have April, May data in so far.


Last I looked there's only 2 of us in Florida. I'm north of the other logger. We got about an inch and a half so far today...

Perhaps you could consider helping us out at the National Weather Service directly by joining the CoCoRaHS program? No data-logger required.

http://www.cocorahs.org/
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Quoting Torito:


when an eye develops, in general that is the center of circulation.


I'm with you boss; I make the distinction because Hurricane David is often said (not on here - perish the thought!) to have made landfall here (in WPB), when in fact, it was much further north (officially). The eye however, did overlap the shore in Palm Beach county.

I know. I know. I'm nitpicking. I'm a nitpicker. I blame my parents.
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
Quoting Hurricane1956:
In my humble opinion yes!,I posted before couple of times today that a couple of the Hurricane models were hinting of a low forming east of Florida (over the Bahamas) and moving over Florida eventually,but nobody in the blog paid attention?


IMHO - no. Sheer is too high in that region for the foreseeable future. If the sheer wasn't present, perhaps, but matters not. Florida and the Bahamas are going to be very wet for the next few days.
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3731
Quoting mikatnight:


Just to be clear,
official landfall does not occur until the CENTER (of surface circulation) reaches shore. Not the eyewall.

Not an expert, but I did pee at a Holiday Inn Express last night...


The beach doesn't need to be in the exact center of the LLC.. once the eyewall passes the beach..it's considered landfall. End of the basic discussion :)
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
radar show mountains starting to do a little work on the eyewall


Naa, still looks ok to me.
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4203
Some of the rain totals in WPB since Midnight!
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Quoting mikatnight:


Just to be clear,
official landfall does not occur until the CENTER (of surface circulation) reaches shore. Not the eyewall.

Not an expert, but I did pee at a Holiday Inn Express last night...


when an eye develops, in general that is the center of circulation.
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4203
This is interesting.
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Quoting Torito:
From the NHC

Landfall:
The intersection of the surface center of a tropical cyclone with a coastline. Because the strongest winds in a tropical cyclone are not located precisely at the center, it is possible for a cyclone's strongest winds to be experienced over land even if landfall does not occur. Similarly, it is possible for a tropical cyclone to make landfall and have its strongest winds remain over the water. Compare direct hit, indirect hit, and strike.

From this, i think it would be defined as eye touching land in any way.



Just to be clear,
official landfall does not occur until the CENTER (of surface circulation) reaches shore. Not the eyewall.

Not an expert, but I did pee at a Holiday Inn Express last night...
Member Since: October 18, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4203

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.